Straw Poll - should all religious related threads be banned? Page 6

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  • Khanivor 26 Aug 2012 19:54:27 40,772 posts
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    So what about all the rituals which involve drugs as part of the sacrament? What about the Pope's vast wine cellar and the fact that the Vatican City leads the world in per-capita wine consumption? Would you class fasting as mind-altering, thus allowing all the remaining religions which don't use drugs to be lumped in as well? In other words, all religious people are unsatisfied with life as a result of the way they practice their religion. Further, that means that all religions are indeed the opiate of the masses, drugs to take people out of the humdrum of existence and away to another world where it all is comfy and easy to understand.

    I" like your way of thinking!
  • redcrayon 26 Aug 2012 20:32:47 4,558 posts
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    EyeLand wrote:
    I drink too much and smoke too much and all the rest. I'm not making any moral judgement on it, just stating the fairly blatant - mind-altering substances are used to transcend normal life, however institutionalized it may be. Doesn't mean you're depressed or anything, but if you were totally free and satisfied why would you do anything?
    Just some thoughts on this- excuse me if I'm rambling-

    Because I like the taste of beer and coffee? If I was free and satisfied, are you saying I wouldn't seek out substances that I enjoy in moderation? Curiosity and personal taste account for a lot, for example I could probably afford a bottle of decent whiskey if I chose to, but I prefer rum, why would I be so discerning if the only purpose was escapism?

    Not sure how caffeine comes under the same banner- It wakes me up in the morning, and isn't about escapism- if anything, it's totally the opposite- I get more work done in the first hour at my desk after I've dragged my primitive morning attitude onto the train first thing in the morning. ;-)

    Again, I think you are using broad strokes- sure, some people like to drink pints of energy drinks, and I'm not a fan of the way they are marketed to teenagers, but I'm not sure that millions of coffee drinkers are looking for any transcending experience, as opposed to a relatively harmless, incredibly mild stimulant to help them get going in the morning.

    There are so many choices of stimulants/depressants etc etc out there that I think a lot of it is tied up in social norms too- Weddings, funerals, work dos etc all seem to involve alcohol as people associate it with social occasions (I suspect as having a drink in your hand implies you are doing something, and avoids awkwardness, giving you something to do with your hands maybe, something like that.

    Same goes for coffee- coffee shops exist as it gives people a place to sit and chat without agoing into a pub- a lot of women don't like going into pubs alone, so they become popular meeting places for people in town. If you are going to meet in a coffee shop, buying a coffee seems fairly reasonable! Same goes for pubs- neutral meeting places where buying a beer has been the price of using the space for hundreds of years.

    Edited by redcrayon at 20:54:09 26-08-2012
  • elstoof 26 Aug 2012 20:33:02 7,361 posts
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    I bet no one in this thread has been to a mass, salat, or any other form of liturgy.
  • bitch_tits_zero_nine 26 Aug 2012 20:35:01 6,654 posts
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    Been to a Christmas mass when I was little. Boring really.
  • redcrayon 26 Aug 2012 20:52:46 4,558 posts
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    @elstoof
    I've been to plenty of Catholic masses, weddings, funerals etc over 5 years or so with my ex-gf.

    Edited by redcrayon at 20:56:42 26-08-2012
  • mal 26 Aug 2012 21:10:04 22,558 posts
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    Hmm, I've never come across anyone that didn't have to learn to like beer, and it wouldn't surprise me if the same were true of bitter coffee. Although on the other hand, it may be due to the way taste buds mature as you grow, dunno.

    Out of interest, how is fasting mind altering? I'm sure it promotes a collective feeling amongst fellow fasters, but so does any religious practice. Other than that, it'll lower your blood sugar and promote the conversion of glycogen into glucose to counteract that, and may cause you to think less/more about food, but I don't count that as mind alteration. Is there some other mechanism I'm not aware of?

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • disusedgenius 26 Aug 2012 21:13:55 5,331 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Hmm, I've never come across anyone that didn't have to learn to like beer, and it wouldn't surprise me if the same were true of bitter coffee.
    Olives too, mind. :)
  • heyyo 26 Aug 2012 21:25:15 14,373 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Out of interest, how is fasting mind altering? I'm sure it promotes a collective feeling amongst fellow fasters, but so does any religious practice. Other than that, it'll lower your blood sugar and promote the conversion of glycogen into glucose to counteract that, and may cause you to think less/more about food, but I don't count that as mind alteration. Is there some other mechanism I'm not aware of?


    Over the twenty-four week starvation part of the study, the subjects not only lost a considerable percentage of their body weights, but suffered a number of problems as well. As the time wore on the men thought ceaselessly about food, they became lethargic, they were cold all the time, they became depressed, they developed bleeding disorders, their ankles became edematous, and some developed more serious psychological disorders.

    ...

    This young man suffered such psychological turmoil from the semi-starvation that he chopped off several fingers of his left hand a month or so after the bottom picture was taken.
    I just read that an hour or so ago on here as it goes. Seems fasting will not only make you think more about food, but make you depressed and crazy.

    Edited by heyyo at 21:26:09 26-08-2012
  • redcrayon 26 Aug 2012 22:20:33 4,558 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Hmm, I've never come across anyone that didn't have to learn to like beer, and it wouldn't surprise me if the same were true of bitter coffee. Although on the other hand, it may be due to the way taste buds mature as you grow, dunno.
    Hmm, fair point. Actually I'd say that it's even less of an issue for young people now that most pubs have a much wider range of drinks than they used to. Coffee I don't remember disliking, just that I started drinking it when I was at college, and enjoyed it then, even the crap stuff.

    Edited by redcrayon at 22:20:52 26-08-2012
  • redcrayon 26 Aug 2012 22:30:00 4,558 posts
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    EyeLand wrote:
    @redcrayon it's a matter of degree. Just because something is very mild does not make the thing go away. You're probably addicted to the notion of being in complete control of yourself and your life. Pretty secure aint it thinking you're free and fully in control. Basically the same thing people have sought and got from religion since time immemorial. It's a bunch of bullshit, but hey, if it makes you happy.
    But what would be the difference between the notion of being in control and actually being in control? If it was only the notion that existed, what evidence would their be that something else was controlling my life? I haven't seen it. At least with beer/fags/drugs there is a clear chemical involved.

    I'm not religious at all, so where does my sense of being happy and OK with myself come from? Occasional use of beer and coffee? I doubt that very much.

    I enjoy my job, apply for new, better ones as soon as they appear, and negotiate roles that I want to do. I recently split up with the missus but feel fine about it, when I want to I'll start dating again. I'm annoyingly cheerful most of the time. It's not a front I put on, or influenced by anything, really, just a load of fortunate coincidences (and the occasional action by me) that have led me to have a happy upbringing and a circle of family and friends and employment that I enjoy spending my time with.

    Is is not more likely that I'm actually free and in control of my life, bar the usual government conspiracies etc etc.?

    I appreciate we probably aren't going to agree on anything, but thanks for the responses anyway.

    Edited by redcrayon at 22:33:01 26-08-2012
  • mal 26 Aug 2012 23:54:04 22,558 posts
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    heyyo wrote:
    I just read that an hour or so ago on here as it goes. Seems fasting will not only make you think more about food, but make you depressed and crazy.
    Awesome link, cheers. Most impressive thing is it's not even fasting, just calorie restriction (albeit for a longer period than any religious fasts I know of).

    I'm interested because I've started fasting for the odd 24 hours every couple of weeks, after a horizon programme I caught the other week. I know from fasting in the past (for medical rather than religious reasons) I didn't find myself fixated on food after a couple of days, and indeed found it rather weird to start eating again on the third day. But with these 24 hour fasts I'm counting down the minutes until I can make a mahoosive sandwich and stuff my face.

    Re olives, good point. I don't reckon I learned to like olives though. I remember trying them first when I was about 20 and not liking them, then a few years later I had them randomly on a pizza and now I rather like them.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • redcrayon 27 Aug 2012 08:52:19 4,558 posts
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    Hey Mal, the only time I hear anything about people's taste buds developing over time is when my friends order a huge amount of olives in a restaurant and everyone acts surprised that I still don't like them at all!

    Most of my friends seen to have gone from despising them to loving them at some point over the last decade. I wonder if the same is true of marmite...
  • redcrayon 27 Aug 2012 09:33:57 4,558 posts
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    To be fair, I can understand how the school system shapes people, but film and TV are a different thing entirely. Media made by thousands and thousands of small companies, writers and directors, it's hard to say that, taking a random sample of the millions of hours made each year, that it offers any unified cultural idea of morality. It only offers a random group of stories from the worldview of film/TV makers from different backgrounds entirely. Advertising- still effective, but it's harder than ever to get young people to watch things- it has to be more sneaky now, there's a lot more focus on brand awareness and association rather than direct advertising of products to young people.

    Social pressure- well, of course there is social pressure to conform. It's not always a bad thing. Being a total anarchist might be free but it wouldn't be a society I wanted to be part of if noone had to respect any kind of structure at all. I live within the rules of society that allows me more freedom to do what I want, when I want with my free time than if I had to spend it finding food or dodging/fighting off other anarchs.

    I think you can map out people's lives to a very basic extent- someone with rich parents and a positive attitude is likely to have good healthcare, a support network, contacts to help with a career, a good education etc but even that doesn't take into account accidents, poor decisions and chance. It's even harder to map out for young people on the poorer end of the scale- adversity can form a will to succceed, or provide a glass ceiling they will never escape from. You can't tell from a basic profile who will thrive in that environment, or even whether they would be happy enough with their lot if they don't escape it, or even if they would want to.

    Certainly the lack of multiple safety nets that financial security etc brings is a problem, but I'd still never bet against a young person escaping a situation they aren't happy with- at that age a single good decision or stroke of luck can be all they need as a kick-start, but all the determination in the world won't help if the opportunities and jobs aren't there, and that's something a mathematician or psychologist can't account for. Having said that, determination might allow for the confidence to take an opportunity offered.

    I don't know, I just don't agree that it's possible to write people off that young, I mentor young people and they are more likely to take risks to determine their future (like move country or change career) than adults that are fixed in a career path due to not worrying about wasting decades of experience they don't have, or their dependents etc.

    We're going way off topic here, I suspect this is a whole other thread...

    Edited by redcrayon at 10:00:06 27-08-2012
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